Synology DS218 Review


Synology DS218



Top Speed: 112 MB/s  IOPS: 9238.15

Noise: 19.3 dB(A)

Power: 14.99W / 5.78W

  • Excellent choice of Apps.
  • Copy button
  • Video transcoding
  • Hot-Swap trays 
  • Low-power Mode
  • Low Noise
  • DLNA Compliant
  • Facial/Subject recognition
  • DDR4 new gen RAM
  • Only one Ethernet port
  • Dual drive RAID is not cost effective
  • 4K Transcoding only H265
  • No Plex
  • No Snapshot Replication


Best use case for DS218

  • 4K (h265), FullHD Home multimedia center
  • Network file server for small office
  • Multi-user collaboration tool
  • PC backup and Apple time machine
  • Itunes or music library for Sonos
  • Home HD multimedia server for DLNA smart TV



DS218 Hardware review



This CPU will NOT support Plex server but will do 4K, HD transcoding on DS Video.

RAM memory can NOT  be upgraded.

USB3 ports will provide faster backup speeds.

Single LAN ports seem to limit Maximum transfer speed.

Scheduled power on and off can be set up automatically.

Plastic chases and adjustable fan speed will let you make it super-quite.

DS218 100V to 200V power will let you use it in any country.

As there is no eSATA port, you can not add expansion unit.

Hot-swap bays, will let IT quickly replace the drive if needed.

DS218 Unboxing


Alternatives to DS218?

DS118 – will be a cheaper alternative with almost the same performance. It will have just 1 drive and no copy button.

DS218play will be performing just like DS118. These two alternative different with smaller RAM needed for a multi-user case.

DS218 is more powerfull than this NAS and its alternatives. It is upgradable, expandable and does more of everything.

What can I connect to DS218?

Wireless Speaker Sonos

The great thing about Sonos is that you don’t need to pay for music subscription service. With the cheapest NAS at home like DS218 or any other, you can have your backups done for all of your devices and still use your network drive as a Sonos music library. Sonos will connect to your NAS via your network and let access your provided music library. If you have little more of IT knowledge, you can even set up your Alexa or Sonos with Alexa built in to play music on your voice commands (“Alexa! Ask DS Audio to Play Music!”).

Casting devices

Nowadays it is so cheap to upgrade your old TV and make it smart. All you need is Google Chrome or EZcast alternative plugged into your HDMI port at the back of your TV. Now you have great functionality added to your TV to send a video file directly from your NAS to a TV. No need for wires and chargers and other mess. You can use your phone as a remote to go to your movies or family videos and cast that content on your TV during family or friend gatherings.


Amazon Fire TV

You may not have a smartphone, or you just simply prefer to control your content with a remote in that case Amazon Fire TV will be a great addon to get to your TV. It also plugs into your HDMI port and will play content from your NAS to a TV. No wires no mess.

nVidia Shield TV

It gets even better! If you want some more entertainment and all previously mentioned functions – nVidia TV is a great thing to get. You can use it for playing games and watching movies from your NAS. The greatest thing is – shield TV does video transcoding. So even if you have a cheap NAS with a weak CPU, in a combination of shield TV you can now automatically on the fly change video file size and format for a destination device. It is a great way to reduce network load and let older devices to play video content which normally was not supported on the device.

How fast is DS218?

RAID 1 ST6000VN0001 6TB HDD, 1GbE LAN port: MTU 1500; connected to 1 client PC via HP 2530-48G switch


SMB Sequential Throughput (64KB)

Read MB/s 112.93 Write MB/s 112.94

SMB Sequential Throughput via Encrypted Shared Folder (64KB)

Read MB/s 112.84 Write MB/s 111.88

Windows File Transfer (1MB file x 3000)

Read MB/s 83.9 Write MB/s 63.88

Windows File Transfer via Encrypted Shared Folder (1MB file x 3000)

Read MB/s 56.9 Write MB/s 42.87

Mac File Transfer (3GB file x 1)

Read MB/s 94.34 Write MB/s 94.03

Mac File Transfer (1MB file x 3000)

Read MB/s 47.16 Write MB/s 60.78

Web Server – PHP Response Efficiency

Responses per second: 9238.15

What is maximum capacity hard drive compatible with DS218?

Maximum raw capacity DS218 can handle is 24TB (2x12TB). That is storage with RAID0 setup, which offers maximum storage space and data writing speeds. A solution like this requires a backup plan in place. If disaster strikes, users will not be able to use NAS functions until data on it is restored.

WD is the very popular choice because they are quieter than other drives, due variable disk spinning speed.

Seagate is popular because of their rescue services and integrated health check shared between NAS and a drive

HGST is popular among IT professionals who need faster spinning disks with higher IOPS for faster data accessing rather than transfer speed.

 Final Thoughts- should I buy DS218?

DS218 is for people who think DS218play is not quite enough. You will get quick copy button and extra 1GB RAM. That will allow you save a minute on backup tasks and also support more people doing simultaneous tasks. It is still not expandable nor upgradable. If you don’t need this added value this NAS is a good choice. It will support fast data transfer and some 4K transcoding.

Where to buy from? offers Free Build and Test service with every NAS you buy with hard drives included. Either it’s party or fully populated, SPAN will setup your preferred RAID type, install your favorite apps, do firmware updates and do hardware tests. That will put your mind at ease knowing that hard drives and NAS unit are all set and tested and will definitely work straight out of the box. When sourcing components from many different resellers you could end up with incompatibility issues or untested/ broken bits and with no support. On top of all that you also get a Free Bespoke solution before you buy and also free support after you got your NAS.


If you still prefer local retailer:

Find regulary updated NAS offers here
Of course I would prefer you choose AMAZON UK AMAZON USA to buy your perfect solution, however, if you would rather buy locally, please use the links used above to take you to your local Amazon store and help support this free advice service with ad revenue. More ways of supporting the blog are described HERE  

Home: Business: Comparison with other service providers:  
locked content ko-fi subscribe
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Author Rating

DISCUSS with others your opinion about this subject.
ASK questions to NAS community
SHARE more details what you have found on this subject
CONTRIBUTE with your own article or review. Click HERE
IMPROVE this niche ecosystem, let us know what to change/fix on this site
EARN KO-FI Share your knowledge with others and get paid for it! Click HERE